US plane hit by gunfire near Baghdad Airport

A US Air Force C-130 transport plane has been hit by small arms fire after taking off from Baghdad International Airport, and at least one person aboard has been killed.

    Planes using Baghdad airport are often targeted

    The aircraft took off on Sunday at approximately 5:00pm (14:00 GMT) and was struck about 22km west of the airport, US officials said. The aircraft returned to Baghdad airport and landed safely. 

    Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, occupation deputy operations chief, confirmed the attack but did not specify the exact location. Kimmitt told The Associated Press that "one of the personnel" aboard was wounded and later died. He did not say how many people were on the plane. 

    The name of the individual who died was withheld pending notification of next of kin.

    Pilots have in the past reported ground fire near the airport. 

    Previous attacks

    On 8 January, a C-5 transport plane with 63 passengers and crew limped safely back to Baghdad's airport after being struck by fire from resistance fighters. 

    In December, resistance fighters hit a US Air Force C-17 transport plane with a surface-to-air missile shortly after it took off from Baghdad, causing the engine to explode. The plane returned to the airport and landed safely, with only one of the 16 people aboard slightly injured. 

    On 23 November a plane operated by the global package delivery service DHL was struck by a missile near Baghdad and was forced to make an emergency landing. There were no casualties.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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